From the time basketball coach Scott Drew first arrived on campus, Baylor’s basketball program has increased exponentially. Since his arrival, Baylor won its first tournament game since 1950, has reached the NCAA Tournament three times and made two Elite Eight appearances.

Drew’s 197 wins as Baylor coach trails only Bill Henderson’s 201 wins on the all-time Baylor win list. Henderson accomplished this feat in 18 years as Baylor coach. Drew has taken only 11.

Drew will often say a coach is only as good as his players. As a result, Baylor’s recruiting presence has exploded since Drew and his staff arrived in Waco. Since Drew’s first recruiting cycle in 2004, Baylor has signed 25 players in the Rivals 150 and four McDonald’s All-Americans. Five Baylor players were drafted into the NBA during that span.

For years, it seemed inconceivable that even the best of coaches could bring high-level talent to Waco, but Drew has bucked the trend.

“We have a different niche than the other schools we recruit against in our state,” longtime assistant coach Jerome Tang said. “We’re a Christian private school. We try to locate as early as possible kids who faith is important, as well as a family environment.”

Sophomore center Isaiah Austin was one of Drew’s McDonald’s All-Americans, and a consensus top five national recruit. He emphasized how the religious aspect of Baylor played into his decision.

“I’m really strong in my religion,” Austin said. “Everyone here is open to Bible study or open to expressing their beliefs with each other, even the coaching staff. We pray before every practice. We may not have the biggest fan base, but they support us and we’re blessed to have them.”

Tang also expressed how valuable it is to have connections to areas such as Dallas/Fort Worth and Louisiana through successful basketball alumni.